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Mix a pop song – 6 – Time for a break

Personally this is my favourite point in the mix, as it is pure and unsullied by the rest of the twiddly bits coming up later, and you shouldn’t feel particularly tired at this point. You should make a note of this mix – either by storing it in software or by simply making chinagraph marks to the side of real faders to mark their positions.

Why? Because later on, if the mix doesn’t seem to be working, then this simple mix is a great reference point to compare each individual instrument to, in order to diagnose where the problems are.

Also, if you are doing an “extended mix”, then this simple drums/bass/pad mix is a great thing to suddenly drop down to during a breakdown section of such a remix – perhaps with some dramatic percussion bashing about over the top? (just a suggestion).

When you have these three (or so) elements in place, then you should be very careful not to go changing the sound of any of them in future unless absolutely necessary. The mix of bass, drums, and pad, is really a “signing off” point in the mixing the song.

Time for you to have some more coffee now…

This is also a good time – if you are using a PC-Based system (such as n-Track) – To “render” the drums, bass and “pad” sound to a single stereo track. This should free up some CPU power for you to use on the lead parts. You should obviously file away the original parts away for safe keeping – perhaps the easiest way being to save the project as it currently is now to a safe place, then re-save it to the current working directory before removing the original separate parts from the current project.

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